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Food Processing
by Jon Wilson on Monday 28th Mar 2011

Choppin' and a Slicin'.

A friend of mine recently recommended I watch the television Blue Bloods, so I watched a couple of episodes to see what he was going on about. I actually quite liked it, and thought that Donnie Wahlberg (the better of the Wahlberg brothers in my opinion) was piece of inspired casting. However, after just two episodes, the series failed to grasp my attention and I soon lost interest. I’ll watch it if it’s on, but I won’t go out of my way to view or record it.

And so it was with Embattle Games’ new title for iOS, “Food Processing”. I picked it up and straight away enjoyed the game, tapping and slashing my way through an assortment of fruit and vegetables as they passed before me on the screen. But sadly my attention was held just a little longer than a slice of apple lasts in the sun.

The premise of this game is simple. Fruit and veg pass from left to right on your screen, supposedly on a conveyor belt. As it passes you have to ‘process’ the individual items according to what they are (for example, walnuts you need to tap twice to break and sweetcorn you need to slice  three times). Sometimes a bad product will appear which you will need to ignore. Process some bad fruit and you get a strike. Miss an item you also get a strike. Three strikes and you’re out. Simples.

The beauty of this game is this simplicity. I like the fact that Embattle have not gone off on a tangent with the gameplay. More types of produce gets added to the belt which you have to process differently (double tap, triple tap, double slice, tap ‘n slice), the belt gets quicker, more bogus veg appears and before you know it you are tapping quicker than a Morse-coder with a trapped nerve and slicing quicker than mohel addicted to caffeine.

The graphics are good. They’re not ground breaking but they’re certainly well above par. The sound is good. Deliver the right tap or slice and you will get a rewarding, almost comical squelch or crunch.  The controls are good, too. Sometimes the game might not register a triple tap or slice, but perhaps that was due to sweaty fingers rather than the game itself. In fact I cannot find any real faults with the basics of this game.  I liked it. A lot. But…

And it’s a big “But”. It failed to hold my attention for any real amount of time. It was a lot of fun, but only for a short while. As more types of fruit and vegetable started to appear I had to learn the tap/slice combination quickly. Embattle have a go at mixing things up a bit, with the rotten items and other random things that will impede your ability to process the food quickly. There is even a Hell’s Kitchen level, which seems to be just a bit trickier than the normal level.

But it wasn’t enough. I was interested for about half an hour, but then realised that I had reached about as far as the game would go. I played on for a bit longer, trying to beat my scores and seeing if there were further unlocks. And whilst I improved my score occasionally I found nothing more within the game to keep me wanting to play.

Overall it is a good game. The production levels are high, and I like it as a ‘simple idea done well’. I would love to have seen a bit more though; perhaps some more unlockables, different food items, secret bonuses or something. 

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  • Sound: 7
  • Graphics: 7
  • Gameplay: 8
  • Longevity: 4



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